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Old 06-14-2013, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Need help with fly fishing N.E. Iowa in July

Hey Redwing,

First off, you will enjoy the area. The number of trout in the Driftless is really astonishing.

July is an interesting month, in that we don't really have any major hatches going on quite yet. Hoppers will start to show up in numbers towards the middle of the month and last through the freeze. Tan/green has always been a very productive color pattern for me. My personal favorite is a simple black foam beetle pattern though. This is a pattern that I will fish from spring all the way through the first hard freeze. It's lethal on our streams.

The streams you mentioned are great places to start. They're heavily fished, although in July you shouldn't have much traffic to deal with. You can camp right on Bear Creek at one of a few different access points. Simple campsites, but they'll serve you well. Nothing beats waking up next to a gently flowing spring creek .

One word of caution is to either wear waders, or if you want to wet wade, a heavier pair of pants or even jeans. We have wild parsnip, which is essential like Poison Ivy's evil twin. It's some gnarly stuff that will ruin your trip in a heartbeat if it touches bare skin. So make sure you're wearing long sleeves and pants if nothing else.

Click the image to open in full size.


Other than terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and ants, all of your general nymphs will work well. Things like pheasant tails, pink squirrels, hares ears, black wet flies, caddis pupa any sort of wet fly will all work. Bring a few brown caddis patterns, as well as some Adams dries. Don't forget some streamers in case we get some spring rains. You might surprise yourself with the size of fish that you manage to catch in the area if the streams get a little murky.

Another option in the area is the Upper Iowa. Check it out if you want to change things up from trout to smallmouth.

If you have more specific questions, feel free to pm me and I'll help you out as best I can.
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